I read mostly non-fiction and anything about France. I enjoy edgy current fiction and historical fiction with magical twists.
A collection of poignant essays about the transformative power of knitting by twenty-seven extraordinary writers.“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters…These essays will break your heart. They will have you laughing out loud.” —Ann Hood, from the introductionWhy does knitting occupy a place in the hearts of so many writers? What’s so magical and transformative about yarn and needles? How does knitting help us get through life-changing events and inspire joy? In Knitting Yarns, twenty-seven writers tell stories about how knitting healed, challenged, or helped them to grow. Barbara Kingsolver describes sheering a sheep for yarn. Elizabeth Berg writes about her frustration at failing to knit. Ann Patchett traces her life through her knitting, writing about the scarf that knits together the women she’s loved and lost. Knitting a Christmas gift for his blind aunt helped Andre Dubus III knit an understanding with his girlfriend. Kaylie Jones finds the woman who used knitting to help raise her in France and heals old wounds. Sue Grafton writes about her passion for knitting. Also included are five original knitting patterns created by Helen Bingham.Poignant, funny, and moving, Knitting Yarns is sure to delight knitting enthusiasts and lovers of literature alike.
Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wiching him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.
With The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen changed the way a generation cooked and brought vegetarian cuisine into the mainstream. In The Heart of the Plate, she completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes — her “absolutely most loved.” Her new cuisine is light, sharp, simple, and modular; her inimitable voice is as personal, helpful, clear, and funny as ever. Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables. They feature layered dishes that juxtapose colors and textures: orange rice with black beans, or tiny buttermilk corn cakes on a Peruvian potato stew. Suppers from the oven, like vegetable pizza and mushroom popover pie, are comforting but never stodgy. Burgers and savory pancakes — from eggplant Parmesan burgers to zucchini ricotta cloud cakes — make weeknight dinners fresh and exciting. “Optional Enhancements” allow cooks to customize every recipe. The Heart of the Plate is vibrantly illustrated with photographs and original watercolors by the author herself.
Billy Moon was Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne, the world-famous author of Winnie the Pooh and other beloved children’s classics. Billy’s life was no fairy-tale, though. Being the son of a famous author meant being ignored and even mistreated by famous parents; he had to make his own way in the world, define himself, and reconcile his self-image with the image of him known to millions of children. A veteran of World War II, a husband and father, he is jolted out of midlife ennui when a French college student revolutionary asks him to come to the chaos of Paris in revolt. Against a backdrop of the apocalyptic student protests and general strike that forced France to a standstill that spring, Milne’s new French friend is a wild card, able to experience alternate realities of the past and present. Through him, Milne’s life is illuminated and transformed, as are the world-altering events of that year.
A collection of new and favorite poems, celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. To be illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects will come to colorful life here. These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Oliver’s well-loved Percy, and meet still others. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life emerge as fellow travelers, but also as guides, spirits capable of opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.
An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secretLondon, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women, The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal’s neutrality, and the world’s future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters—Julia’s status as a Jew, Pete and Edward’s improbable affair, Iris’s increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come loose. This journey will change their lives irrevocably, as Europe sinks into war.Gorgeously written, sexually and politically charged, David Leavitt’s long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary work.
This illustrated book vividly depicts the most endangered birds in the world and provides the latest information on the threats each species faces and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 571 bird species are classified as critically endangered or endangered, and a further four now exist only in captivity. This landmark book features stunning photographs of 500 of these species--the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specifically for this book. It also showcases paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta of the 75 species for which no photos are known to exist."The World's Rarest Birds" has introductory chapters that explain the threats to birds, the ways threat categories are applied, and the distinction between threat and rarity. The book is divided into seven regional sections--Europe and the Middle East; Africa and Madagascar; Asia; Australasia; Oceanic Islands; North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; and South America. Each section includes an illustrated directory to the bird species under threat there, and gives a concise description of distribution, status, population, key threats, and conservation needs. This one-of-a-kind book also provides coverage of 62 data-deficient species.
Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. Unlike dogs, cats evolved as solitary hunters, and, while many have learned to live alongside humans and even feel affection for us, they still don’t quite �get us” the way dogs do, and perhaps they never will. But cats have rich emotional lives that we need to respect and understand if they are to thrive in our company. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat’s evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners—but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we’re to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments—however small—sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats.A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets’ lives—and ours.
The Daylight Gate, an instant bestseller in the UK, is award-winning Jeanette Winterson’s singular vision of a dark period of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined.After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator in England fled to a wild, untamed place far from the reach of London law. On Good Friday, 1612, deep in the woods of Pendle Hill, amid baptismal pools and low, thick fog, a gathering of thirteen is interrupted by the local magistrate. Two of their coven have already been imprisoned for witchcraft and are awaiting trial, but those who remain are vouched for by the wealthy and respected Alice Nutter.Shrouded in mystery and gifted with eternally youthful beauty, Alice is established in Lancashire society and insulated by her fortune. Yet she is also plagued by rumors of a dark and torrid love affair with another woman, the matriarch of the notorious Demdike clan. As those accused of witchcraft retreat into darkness, Alice stands alone as a realm-crosser, a conjurer of powers that will either destroy her or set her free.
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.Daniel’s thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind.After a few moments’ soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow … different.
Called the “High Priestess of Fashion,” Diana Vreeland (1903–1989) was an American original whose impact on fashion and style was legendary. Beginning in 1936, when she became a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Vreeland established herself as a controversial visionary with an astonishing ability to invent and discover fashion ideas, designers, personalities, and photographers. She was a memorable writer with a vivid personality and a talent for coining aphorisms. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel chronicles 50 years of international fashion and Vreeland’s rich life. With more than 350 illustrations, including original magazine spreads and many famous photographs, this intensely visual book shows fashion as it was being invented, and how Vreeland shaped American taste through her superb vision.Praise for Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel:“Before there was Daphne Guinness, before there was Lady Gaga, there was the original style setter. A new book takes a look at the career and influence of the woman who made fashion modern.”—Town & Country “A must-have and the perfect addition to anyone’s holiday gift list, the book begs to be displayed on a coffee table and leisurely reviewed from the corner of a comfy couch, when there is ample time to savor Vreeland's pioneering five decades in fashion.” —Publishers Weekly
“Mad Men for the literary world.” —Junot DíazFarrar, Straus and Giroux is arguably the most influential publishing house of the modern era. Home to an unrivaled twenty-five Nobel Prize winners and generation-defining authors like T. S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, Susan Sontag, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Philip Roth, and Jonathan Franzen, it’s a cultural institution whose importance approaches that of The New Yorker or The New York Times. But FSG is no ivory tower—the owner's wife called the office a “sexual sewer”—and its untold story is as tumultuous and engrossing as many of the great novels it has published.Boris Kachka deftly reveals the era and the city that built FSG through the stories of two men: founder-owner Roger Straus, the pugnacious black sheep of his powerful German-Jewish family—with his bottomless supply of ascots, charm, and vulgarity of every stripe—and his utter opposite, the reticent, closeted editor Robert Giroux, who rose from working-class New Jersey to discover the novelists and poets who helped define American culture. Giroux became one of T. S. Eliot’s best friends, just missed out on The Catcher in the Rye, and played the placid caretaker to manic-depressive geniuses like Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Jean Stafford, and Jack Kerouac. Straus, the brilliant showman, made Susan Sontag a star, kept Edmund Wilson out of prison, and turned Isaac Bashevis Singer from a Yiddish scribbler into a Nobelist—even as he spread the gossip on which literary New York thrived.A prolific lover and an epic fighter, Straus ventured fearlessly, and sometimes recklessly, into battle for his books, his authors, and his often-struggling company. When a talented editor left for more money and threatened to take all his writers, Roger roared, “Over my dead body”—and meant it. He turned a philosophical disagreement with Simon & Schuster head Dick Snyder into a mano a mano media war that caught writers such as Philip Roth and Joan Didion in the crossfire. He fought off would-be buyers like S. I. Newhouse (“that dwarf”) with one hand and rapacious literary agents like Andrew Wylie (“that shit”) with the other. Even his own son and presumed successor was no match for a man who had to win at any cost—and who was proven right at almost every turn.At the center of the story, always, are the writers themselves. After giving us a fresh perspective on the postwar authors we thought we knew, Kachka pulls back the curtain to expose how elite publishing works today. He gets inside the editorial meetings where writers’ fates are decided; he captures the adrenaline rush of bidding wars for top talent; and he lifts the lid on the high-stakes pursuit of that rarest commodity, public attention—including a fly-on-the-wall account of the explosive confrontation between Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Franzen, whose relationship, Franzen tells us, “was bogus from the start.”Vast but detailed, full of both fresh gossip and keen insight into how the literary world works, Hothouse is the product of five years of research and nearly two hundred interviews by a veteran New York magazine writer. It tells an essential story for the first time, providing a delicious inside perspective on the rich pageant of postwar cultural life and illuminating the vital intellectual center of the American Century.
In today’s world of fast fashion, is there a place for a handcrafted $50,000 coat? When journalist Meg Lukens Noonan learned of an unthinkably expensive, entirely handcrafted overcoat that a fourth-generation tailor had made for one of his longtime clients, she set off on an adventure to understand its provenance, and from that impulse unspooled rich and colorful stories about its components, the centuries-old bespoke industry and its traditions, and the master craftsmen whose trade is an art form. In The Coat Route, Noonan pieces together the creation of the coat in question, tracing its elements to their far-flung sources, from the remote mountains of Peru, where villagers shear vicunas—whose soft fleece is more coveted and rare than the finest cashmere—to the fabulous Florentine headquarters of Stefano Ricci, the world’s greatest silk designer; from the family-owned French fabric house Dormeuil, founded in 1842, which drapes kings, presidents, and movie stars to the 150-year-old English button-making firm that creates the ne plus ultra of fasteners out of Indian water-buffalo horn and the workshop of the master hand engraver who makes the eighteen-karat gold plaque that hangs inside the coat’s collar. We meet the dapper son-in-law of an Australian wine baron who commissions the coat’s creation, and we come to know John Cutler, one of the top bespoke tailors in the world, who works his magic with scissors and thread out of his Sydney shop, redolent of cedar and English wool. Featuring a cast of offbeat, obsessed, and wildly entertaining characters, The Coat Route presents a rich tapestry of local masters, individual artisans, and family-owned companies that have stood against the tide of mass consumerism. As Noonan comes to realize, these craftsmen, some of whom find themselves on the brink of retirement with no obvious successors, have increasing reason to believe that their way is the best way—best for their customers, best for the environment, and best for the quality of life of all involved. The Coat Route is a love song to things of lasting value.Praise for The Coat Route “A spirited tour of fashion history . . . The Coat Route compels us to remember that behind every garment is a deep history and a pair of human hands—whether those hands stitched the dress’s hem or pulled a lever that stringed together that $30 must-have jacket.”—The Wall Street Journal “Delightful . . . The Coat Route celebrates those who work with their hands, creating something beautiful and lasting.”—The Seattle Times “[Meg Lukens Noonan’s] exploration of the business of fashion is fascinating and thorough, and her examination of bespoke goods redefines the words luxury and obsession.”—The Daily Beast “Traditions of bespoke tailoring (and other related crafts) are skirting the edge of extinction. Noonan’s delightful story makes us hope they endure.”—Publishers Weekly“A fabulous story, brilliantly told . . . I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.”—Bill Bryson “As captivating as any mystery or thriller, The Coat Route demystifies the rarefied universe of bespoke tailoring and provides a lens into the culture that covets it. It educates and inspires. I couldn’t put it down!”—Tim Gunn
Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and tidy neighbour always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks a new pupil, Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents--dashing Skandar, a half-Muslim Professor of Ethical History born in Beirut, and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist--have come to America for Skandar to teach at Harvard.But one afternoon, Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies who punch, push and call him a "terrorist," and Nora is quickly drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family. Soon she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora's happiness explodes her boundaries--until Sirena's own ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, this urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment explores the thrill--and the devastating cost--of giving in to one's passions. The Woman Upstairs is a masterly story of America today, of being a woman and of the exhilarations of love.
Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller’s famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s. Tropic of Cancer is now considered, as Norman Mailer said, �one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century.”
Whether it's a bustling eatery in the heart of Florence or a tiny alcove tucked away on a side street in Venice, the trattoria is where Italians go for robust flavors, great friendship, and good times. Patricia Wells' Trattoria now feeds America's passion for Italian food with 150 authentic recipes. Savor a Fresh Artichoke Omelet, succulent Lamb Braised in White Wine, Garlic, and Hot Peppers, a hearty portion of Lasagne with Basil, Garlic, and Tomato Sauce, or a luscious Fragrant Orange and Lemon Cake, and much more. This essential cookbook of Italian trattorias presents a full range of homemade recipes for antipasti, soups, dried and fresh pastas, polenta, seafood, poultry, and meat, with special chapters on breads, pizzas, and desserts. Come explore the heart and soul of Italian cooking in Patricia Wells' Trattoria.
L'arte della gioia è un libro postumo: giaceva da vent'anni abbandonato in una cassapanca e, dopo essere stato rifiutato da molti editori, venne stampato in pochi esemplari da Stampa Alternativa nel 1998. Ma soltanto quando uscì in Francia ricevette il giusto riconoscimento. Nel romanzo tutto ruota intorno alla figura di Modesta: una donna vitale e scomoda, potentemente immorale secondo la morale comune. Una donna siciliana in cui si fondono carnalità e intelletto. Modesta nasce in una casa povera ma fin dall'inizio è consapevole di essere destinata a una vita che va oltre i confini del suo villaggio. Ancora ragazzina è mandata in un convento e successivamente in una casa di nobili dove, grazie al suo talento e alla sua intelligenza, riesce a convertirsi in aristocratica attraverso un matrimonio di convenienza. Tutto ciò senza smettere di sedurre uomini e donne di ogni tipo. Amica generosa, madre affettuosa, amante sensuale: Modesta è una donna capace di scombinare ogni regola del gioco pur di godere del vero piacere, sfidando la cultura patriarcale, fascista, mafiosa e oppressiva in cui vive. L'arte della gioia è l'opera scandalo di una scrittrice. È un'autobiografia immaginaria. È un romanzo d'avventura. È un romanzo di formazione. Ed è anche un romanzo erotico, e politico, e psicologico. Insomma, è un romanzo indefinibile.
The long-awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as "one of the best story collections of the last decade" (Kevin Brockmeier).In LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE, Peter Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in intimate close-up. A woman's husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor and loses much more than the election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick; a father and daughter outrun a hurricane--all are vivid and memorable occasions as seen through Orner's eyes. LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE is also a return to the form Orner loves best. As he has written, "The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between a pang in your heart and the tragedy of your whole life. Read a great story and there it is--right now--in your gut."